Exhausted. Disbelieving as well.
Not sure I have the words to explain what has transpired today. Suppose I’ll start at the beginning.
Council meeting was a sham. Raucous debate about keeping supplies for the townsfolk or giving it away towards export quotas. Is that even a question that needs to be asked? Good business partners would be lenient in such a situation, and yet I know from my own experience how rare that leniency is when money is involved.
I had no patience for the argument or the Council; the Halfling did the majority of the talking. Least he enjoys it. Continued referring to us as servants. Sooner I have this wolf threat under control, sooner I can be rid of him.
We did end up with a single lead – the location of the farm to the west, where the sheep were abducted from the barn. Councilman Corel offered to guide us, but I had no need of such help – particularly from this Council.
From the barn, it was simple enough to track the wolves into the forest. We were soon ambushed by an owlbear – monstrous creature the size of a bear, with the features of an owl. Tracked and watched them before, but always kept a great distance. This one had no interest in keeping its distance; it was able to wound Norren, but we bested it in the end.
Still no idea what this one was doing around here. Very odd to see one out in the daytime, given their nocturnal nature. It was already wounded; burns, scorches, claw marks, bites. Definitely wolf claws and teeth, but no way to tell what caused the other at the time. Didn’t take long to find out.
Owlbear’s tracks coincided with the wolf tracks, though he was going in the opposite direction. As we followed, we came upon the wolf den at the mouth of a small cave. Wolves were sitting around a campfire; figured they’d found some poor huntsman’s camp. Even found a makeshift alarm trap. Perhaps the Sorcerer had made his home here as well. We would learn that was not the case.
Norren rashly rushed out into the clearing, unarmed. They did not attack, though the wolves did immediately sit and stare intently. One wolf ran into the cave, then emerged with two more enormous wolves – probably the largest I’ve seen. Those two wolves _spoke_ to us. In full, coherent Common sentences. I’m still trying to process the fact that we started negotiating – with wolves.
One male, one female. The male told us a story about how the Sorcerer had tracked them down, but when he went to cast a spell, he simply vanished in a magical explosion. Afterwards, the wolves in the pack could speak; moreover, these two alphas had been imbued with lightning and fire magic, respectively.
While that explains the “storm of lightning and fire” the wounded Halfling mentioned, I still can’t believe it is possible.
The female – Flame, she called herself – was angry, aggressive. The male – Bolt – was patient and willing to talk. Eventually, Flame’s patience ran thin, and she turned on Bolt.
A massive fight ensued, with these two giant wolves exchanging _magical_ blows. We helped defeat Flame, barely saving Bolt’s life.
After that, he was amenable to actually aiding the town, rather than raiding it. We decided to bring him before the Council. This was an interesting experience, to say the least. I did very much love to see their fear and confusion when confronted with this speaking wolf.
We were able to somehow broker a deal that the wolves would defend the town as best they could in exchange for a steady supply of sheep.
I lived this story; however, writing it down and reflecting on it now, I still don’t fully _believe_ this story.
I need some rest, settle my thoughts, figure out what must be done next. I’ll need to be moving on soon.